Coral Woodbury has made a lifelong commitment to the catalytic force of art. It has informed her work in the studio, in museums, education, and the addiction recovery and homeless populations.
Her recent portraits and multi-figure paintings critically reinterpret Western artistic masterpieces from a feminist perspective. Barely a generation ago, art history texts routinely omitted women artists entirely. In “Revised Edition”, Coral uses the pages of Janson‘s History of Art as a ground, to ink portraits of women artists over images from the well-known canon.
In parallel with this series, Coral repaints masterpieces from this canon, but with the figures recast. Instead of a Madonna or paterfamilias portrait, Coral inserts images of women artists drawn from photographs and their own work. As a historian, gazing backward, and as an artist, creating anew, her paintings are a way to heal the injustices and omissions of art history.
“Barely a generation ago, art history texts routinely omitted women artists entirely. By painting them into Janson’s History of Art, from which they were completely exiled until 1986, I make presence where there was absence, make visible the invisible. This series is research study and protest as much as it is brushwork. It honors women denied a place in art history. I will not have run out of them when I have filled every page.”